Featured Crafter: Renee and Roberta from StratusSilver
In this Featured Crafter, we talk to Renee and Roberta from Stratus Silver. Read on to learn how these two women met and enlisted the help of Don Norris in setting up a casting shop.
Stratus Silver is a 2 woman team, Renee (me) and Roberta. We have worked together as cosmetologists for 16 yrs. I have been silversmithing for 12 yrs. or so and introduced Bert to beading and casting. She’s very creative, as are most cos people. The rest is history. Stratus will be 2 yrs. old in Nov. 2009. We are currently working on a new line of vining leaf jewelry which will include pendants, earrings, bracelets and most likely a ring design or two. We hope to have them available by Oct. for the holidays.
You can find us at:
We have also just opened another etsy shop strictly for one of a kind smithed pieces here on etsy. Not too much listed yet, but we have some other designs in process that will be posted soon. BlackOrbitJewels.etsy.com
My silversmithing career began one day when I was wondering how to solder silver. While doing a bit of online research, I ran across Don Norris. He is a silversmithing teacher in Estes Park, Colorado who travels across country teaching silversmithing. I took classes in Boulder. Two years ago, he came to Ohio to help Bert and I set up our casting shop.
Berta caught the bug when we became neighbors (quite by accident.) We live one mile apart in the very rural Hocking Hills region of southeastern Ohio, which is 60 miles from our day jobs. We’d like to turn our business into our full time job.
Bert saw all my junk and just jumped right in with gemstone beading. We opened the casting shop a few months later. She’s a natural with all her inherent, artistic talents. My favorite vining leaf bangle design (not released yet) is her creation. Can’t wait to get it out there. It’s a knockout.
Our nature designs are created using castings from natural, organic botanicals. We both have several acres of property which we jokingly call Christopher Robin’s 100 wood. We find many of our organics growing wild there, but also cultivate a few for that purpose. We’re very environmentally conscious (The Wayne National Forest is on our doorstep) so the handcast process we use does not require a botanical for each piece. We also use precious metal suppliers, such as Hoover and Strong, who only refine recycled metals in an evironmentally friendly facility. We endeavor to leave the smallest environmental footprint possible.
It’s our hope that we will inspire a sense of appreciation for nature in others and foster an attitude of conservation through our jewelry designs.